Quality Management: A Step-by-Step Process
Guest post by Kajetan Wyrzykowski
Most consumers hear the word “quality” when associated with packaging and immediately think of the final product on the shelves in stores. However, its meaning is much different in the packaging and labeling industry.
A lot goes on behind the scenes of the packaging process. For instance, a quality management system must be put in place for the best chance of the product being a success, but what exactly is quality management? It ensures your packaging process is planned from start to finish, that all information is accurate, and that you provide an exceptional customer experience. It’s harder than it sounds to put in place though, as quality management processes vary depending on the industry.
The perception may be that a quality management process is implemented at the design and packaging stage of a product. However, many companies have deployed quality management systems at every stage. As an illustration, consider just how many departments are involved in the creation of a product, from its early stages until the package is in the customer’s hands.
All Information Should be Accurate
The quality management process typically starts with regulatory affairs and marketing. These departments take the data gathered from the manufacturers and strategically market the materials. Pharmaceutical companies must meanwhile impose strict guidelines on their products for health reasons. This is where the quality process comes in. All information needs to be clear and correct. No one wants to recall a product because of a small labeling error. A way to ensure the accuracy of packaging is by using quality management software to review your files before they are sent to the design department.
Ensuring Your Vision is Clear
Part of the quality management process involves precisely displaying your vision on your packaging. When planning the design and packaging of your product, it is essential to choose a supplier that understands your needs. Choose carefully though; You want to work with someone who will be able to bring your creativity to life. For example, if you are looking to take risks and be innovative with your design, your supplier must be equally willing to take that risk with you. Both the company and the supplier must be on the same page, or collaborating can become a challenge.
From Digital to Print
For businesses looking to take that risk and re-launch their packaging, having a physical proof is imperative. A proof, or a printer’s proof, is a copy of the design. These are made to ensure that the printer is meeting their client’s needs by helping their vision come to life. You want to make sure that not only is your design translated into an artwork file, but that it looks just as good in tangible form. When your clients receive the good, the packaging is the first thing they see. If your file has errors in it or isn’t color-consistent, go back to the drawing board. Work with the graphic designers to come up with a design that is both practical and conveys your brand’s message. Proofreading software can also be used by designers to review files for artwork accuracy, by comparing proofs to the internally approved original.
Validation Of Your Packaging
After your product has been packaged, the next step is to put it through a series of tests. You want to make sure that package is of the highest quality and you provide a positive customer experience. Most companies perform the following analysis on their packaging: Installation Qualification (IQ), Operation Qualification (OQ) and Performance Qualification (PQ). IQ ensures that the sealing equipment is installed at the manufacturing facility. PQ tests the integrity and repeatability during the sealing process. Lastly, OQ makes sure companies perform durability, rub, and drop tests to so the package will hold up and not fall apart during transportation by the time it reaches its destination.
Even when your product is sitting on the shelves of stores, it must provide a good first impression to potential buyers. A product that looks high-quality will grab consumer’s attention and earn their loyalty. In other words, it’s important that your packaging be error-free and created the way you had anticipated. If you decide not to design your packaging in-house, partnering with the right supplier is essential. You want to work with someone who is on the same page as you, especially if you’re looking to revamp your brand. Ensuring your packaging is of the highest quality is the ultimate goal, whether you’re in regulatory affairs or work on the design team.
Regardless of your position, you play a major role in quality management, which should ideally span multiple departments. Consumers who see the value in your product are likely to stay put. After all, a company is only as successful as its packaging.
Author: Kajetan Wyrzykowski
Packhelp is a start-up manufacturing custom packaging. In order to create a box, our customers can use an intuitive and easy-to-use online design tool. Additionally, the minimum quantity of orders is only 30 pieces and the production times begin at 14 days.